Stefano Salvatori: Hearts' Scottish Cup hero dies at 49

Stefano Salvatori
Salvatori was a hard-tackling central midfielder at Hearts, having started his career as a defender

Hearts have paid tribute to former midfielder Stefano Salvatori, who has died at the age of 49.

The Italian spent three years at Tynecastle, playing in the Scottish Cup-winning team of 1998.

"He wrote his name into Hearts folklore," reads a statement from the club, adding that Salvatori has "legendary status in Gorgie".

Salvatori made 84 appearances for Hearts in all competitions, scoring three goals.

He came through the ranks at AC Milan and played in their 1989 European Super Cup final success as well as picking up a medal for their 1990 European Cup triumph.

His move to Edinburgh in 1996 came after two years with Atalanta, having helped the Bergamo club win promotion to Serie A, while he also had two spells at Fiorentina.

"The club would like to pass on its condolences to the family and friends of Stefano," add Hearts.

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